Just in time for Halloween, the psychological horror thriller Ma, starring Octavia Spencer, is currently making waves on Netflix, both globally and in the United States. Ma is now at the sixth spot in the Netflix global top ten list and an impressive third place on the US top ten chart.
Released in 2019 and directed by Tate Taylor, Ma presented Spencer in a role quite different from the characters she’s typically known for. Spencer’s Sue Ann Ellington is a seemingly harmless woman living in a small town.
The plot unfolds as a group of teenagers ask Sue Ann to buy alcohol for them, sparking an unexpected friendship that leads to them partying in her basement. At first, Sue Ann seems like a hospitable and friendly figure, but as the story progresses, the story takes a darker turn.
Even though the film received average reviews, Spencer’s portrayal of the unhinged Sue Ann earned her plenty of praise. Speaking to Variety about Ma, Spencer shared her excitement to be able to play the role, “Lupita Nyong’o had a film debut at Sundance [the upcoming thriller Little Monsters], but before that and before Ma, these types of roles haven’t really been available to women of colour. And I think it’s about time that changes,” before adding, “It’s exciting to play something outside of the three archetypes that people like to see me in.”
Part of the appeal of Ma lies in its focus on psychological torment over graphic violence. In an era where horror often relies on jump scares and excessive gore, Ma was a departure from it all, even though it could not entirely deliver on the premise.
Nevertheless, Ma is still a fun flick to watch during spooky season as it relies on every basic horror trope sincerely. It’s one of the more nuanced pieces on Netflix right now and it deliver sin all the right places.
So, if you’re in the mood for a suspenseful and psychologically intense horror film, give Ma a watch on Netflix.